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Category: General

Video: SoF meets S-o-F

Andrew Aris of the Spirit-of-Football
Andrew Aris of the Spirit-of-Football

I’ve just arrived back from a week in Germany, where I met up with the good folks at the other Spirit-of-Football in Erfurt. It’s the World Cup draw later on today — which should include the announcement of The Ball for 2006 — and I’m really starting to feel the gathering momentum towards a feast of football.

What a great project Andrew is in the process of setting up.

UPDATE: Andrew has just been signed professionally by Rot Weiss Erfurt! Congratulations Andrew, can we have you on our side please?

Pitch Perfect

Another great find by The Global Game, this time alerting me to Pitch Perfect. This from the website:

“Pitch Perfect will see the creation of a brand new football anthem to reflect football in 2005. It will be fully accessible, culturally reflective of the communities involved and, more than anything, fun for those singing it! Pitch Perfect aims to develop links between football and music. It draws upon the musical tradition present in football history through the commissioning of a brand new choral and instrumental work which is written to celebrate the ‘beautiful game’.”

The song will be premiered on Friday 18 November 2005 at Wembley Conference Centre. I look forward to hearing it.

Update: The Guardian posted an article which reports that Sepp Blatter wants to ban the playing of national anthems prior to internationals – perhaps they could be replaced by this song instead?

The Wisdom of Blatter

Well, would you believe it? FIFA head honcho Sepp Blatter sets out a mission statement for football – and it’s one that I heartily welcome. Here’s what he said (as reported in this Guardian article):

“football is more about grass-roots than idols; more about giving entertainment and hope to the many than bogus popularity to a predictable few; more about respecting others than satisfying individual greed, whether for adulation or money”

Bring it on, Sepp!

Update: Herr Blatter will be on BBC Radio 5 Live at 8pm this evening (Thursday 13th Oct) to answer questions – should be a fascinating and (hopefully) incendiary show.

Not the Spirit of Football

The Register is reporting that a Bogus FIFA lottery scam hits the net. FIFA has more information here. As usual, if anyone emails you to tell you you’ve won a fortune, caution is likely to be the best approach. Actually, make that downright disbelief – being hit by a meteor is far more likely… hmm, what’s that noi

Fair Play

I know it’s easy to be magnanimous in victory, but it’s great to see a different view of Wednesday’s England vs. Northern Ireland match to the hysterical media frenzy of “sack the Swede”. Mark Perryman of London England Fans posted on the LEF mailing list what Michael Boyd of the Irish FA wrote in a letter to him:

Fair play to David Beckham and the England Supporters for taking defeat so well. I thought the England Supporters behaved impeccably and there was not one arrest around the game which was arguably the biggest sporting event ever to take place in Northern Ireland. There are good relations between the England and Northern Ireland Fans and I thought both sets of supporters deserve a special mention for observing the minute silence for Colin Murdoch’s father with such dignity and respect. I was also impressed with David Beckham taking the time to applaud both the England and Northern Ireland Fans after the game. I wish England and their excellent supporters all the best for the future. England fans often receive a negative press in the media and we know how damaging and frustrating that can be. So lets hope they get the credit they are due!

As Mark says:

At least something good came out of Wednesday!

Passing the game on

Interesting post on the Global Game mailing list recently concerning the development of the game from its origins to what we take for granted as the shape and style of the modern game. The excerpts that follow are copied from a larger post about Scottish football which is a fascinating read in itself. In fact, the newsletter is generally full of interesting and offbeat football stories. Highly recommended.

Read the rest of this entry »


Phil and I will be showing the five minute film and talking about the Spirit of Football project at the next London Englandfans meeting at the Offside bar on City Road in London on Thursday evening. We’re both very much looking forward to the event… according to Mark Perryman, who organises these meetings, it’s “an open meeting to discuss and plan Englandfans forums and initiatives through to the end of the year and think ahead to World Cup 2006”. Bring it on!

The Homeless World Cup

The Homeless World Cup is a street soccer tournament involving 32 teams of homeless people from around the globe including: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, China, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA, Wales, Zambia.

This year it will be held in Edinburgh from 20th – 24th July, and The Ball is scheduled to make an appearance as a precursor to the trip to Germany. More information can be found on the Street Soccer website.

Update: sadly, The Ball was unable to make it to Edinburgh… we’d have loved to do something for the competition, but other things intervened, and it just wasn’t possible. Sigh. Roll on Germany 2006

The Magic

The Ball rolling
The Ball rolling through China in 2002

Kevin Mitchell, the Guardian’s chief sports writer was so enthralled by the Liverpool v. AC Milan final that he wrote his latest column entitled Magic and hypnotism of the rolling ball based on the question “what is this strange power football has over us?”

One of the answers he provides is that ‘it’s the magic of the rolling ball. You can’t resist it.’ Indeed. Neither can we. That’s what the Spirit of Football has always been about.

Have they been watching our film?

I just stumbled across a promo video for the World Cup preparations in Berlin which has a remarkable resemblance to our video from the 2002 trip to Japan and Korea… really nicely (read expensively!) made and worth a look.

Ready for 2006

Sets the standard for 2006, I guess. Enjoy!

The Ball 2018 left England on 25th March 2018 and travelled to the World Cup in Russia.

The Ball 2014 kicked off from England on 9th Jan 2014 and headed to the World Cup in Brazil.

The Ball 2010 left England on 24th Jan 2010 headed to the Opening Ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Ball 2006 travelled from London to the Opening Ceremony in Munich, Germany.

The Ball 2002 was carried 7000 miles across Europe and Asia to the World Cup finals in Korea & Japan.